Subject: The Two O
The Flyers’ problems in net this year have started and ended with their goalies’ performance on the penalty kill.
80 percent — the Flyers’ save percentage this season while down a man on the penalty kill (specifically, in 4-on-5 situations). As of this writing, that’s the third-worst mark in the NHL; only Edmonton (78.69 percent) and Arizona (75 percent) have fared worse.
On the surface, the Flyers’ goalies have struggled some in the early going of this season. While save percentages for the NHL at large are down this season (through Saturday’s games, the league-average save percentage in the 2017-18 season on non-empty net shots was 90.90 percent, down from 91.35 percent last season), the Flyers rank 20th among the NHL’s 31 teams in save percentage, having stopped 90.66 percent of all shots their goalies have faced.
But the interesting thing about that substandard performance is that it’s fueled almost entirely by special teams game-states. At 5-on-5, Flyers goalies actually have done pretty well to start the season; per Corsica, they’ve stopped 93.25 percent of 5-on-5 shots that they’ve faced. That’s good for the seventh-best mark in the league. But it’s been on the penalty kill (and, actually, the power play, but let’s focus on the penalty kill for now) where Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott are seeing their numbers take a hit.
Is this a matter of the Flyers’ penalty killers doing a shoddy job, giving their opponents easy goals that the goalies just can’t stop? At a high-level, that doesn’t seem to quite be the case. On the 4-on-5 penalty kill, the Flyers have allowed 6.28 Expected Goals per 60 minutes of ice time, the seventh-best rate in the league. But they’ve allowed 9.9 actual goals per 60, the fifth-worst rate in the league.
In other words, based on the shots that the Flyers are allowing on the penalty kill, you wouldn’t think the goalies would be letting in as many goals as they have been. But here we are.
Are the goalies due for some positive regression here on the penalty kill? There’s reason to think so. In particular, Elliott has allowed a goal on a brutal rate of one out of every four shots he’s faced on the PK, but that’s unlikely to continue — he’s stopped between 87 and 91 percent of all shots he’s faced at 4-on-5 in the past three seasons, and long-run he should gravitate back towards that average, even if he doesn’t get all the way there.
In short, if you’re looking for an area where the Flyers’ goalies need to do better, it’s on the penalty kill. They do that, and a penalty-killing group that’s shown some promise becomes even more formidable.
All statistics in this piece through Saturday’s NHL games. Overall save percentage numbers via hockey-reference.com; all other statistics via Corsica.hockey.
Subject: On The Giants: I Want to Take the High Road, But I Don
Subject: Sixers Notes: Half Pregnancy, Load Management, and Left Handed Jumpers
Subject: Packers vs. Lions: How to watch Monday Night Football, game info, live streaming, odds, more
Watch MNF here.
Detroit is 1-4 in their last five games. They’ll be looking to stay alive in the division with a win tonight.
As far as the Philadelphia Eagles are concerned, I don’t think it matters a ton who wins this game. I guess it’d be better if Packers win since they’re less threatening if Rodgers is going to be out, but what if he somehow comes back in time for the playoffs? A Lions win only puts them at 4-4 so that’s fine.
Find everything you need to know about tonight's game below.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers TV Schedule
Game time: 8:30 PM EST
Date: Monday, November 6
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Location: Lambeau Field | Green Bay, Wisconsin
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Detroit Lions -3 (-105)
Green Bay Packers +3 (-115)
Open thread: discuss Monday night’s game in the comments below.
Subject: NFL Power Rankings 2017: Week 10 Edition
Ranking all 32 NFL Teams.
Week 9 of the 2017 NFL regular season schedule is in the books. Now it's time to see where all 32 teams rank. For reference purposes, here is a link to last week's NFL Power Rankings.
BLG's WEEK 10 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 1) - The undisputed best team in the NFL. Philly dropped 51 points on one of the NFL’s top defenses. Carson Wentz is the NFL MVP. Doug Pederson is the Coach of the Year. Jim Schwartz’s defense ranks No. 1 in both stopping the run and generating pressure. This is just a complete team. No one should want to play the Eagles right now.
2 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 2) - Bye week. Next up: a road game against Indianapolis.
3 - New England Patriots (LW: 3) - Bye week. Next up: a road game against Denver.
4 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 5) - Bye week. Next up for the streaking Saints: a road game against Buffalo.
6 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 10) - The Jags have the third best point differential in the NFL. Sackonsville’s defense is the real deal.
8 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 4) - Kareem Hunt only received NINE carries against Dallas. He logged the fewest amount of snaps he’s played all season. Thanks for nothing, Andy Reid. The Chiefs are 1-3 in their last four.
9 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 9) - Bye week. Next up: at Washington.
10 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 6) - When you miss three field goals in one game, I’d say you have a kicker problem. It looked like the Seahawks were heating up after winning four in a row. But they dropped a home game they didn’t have much business losing.
11 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 14) - Think it’s safe to say the Panthers are the NFL’s least impressive six-win team. There are 14 teams who own a better point differential than Carolina. Cam Newton’s running ability is making up for the fact he’s been bad as a passer (2 TD, 6 INT in last four games).
12 - Detroit Lions (LW: 15) - Jim Caldwell’s team got a much-needed win after going 1-4 in their last five games. Detroit, who already beat the Vikings once, is alive in the NFC North.
13 - Washington Redskins (LW: 18) - Pretty quality win for Washington. They didn’t have much business winning that game given how banged up they were.
14 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 12) - This team was averaging 34 points per game last season. Now Atlanta is averaging 16.6 in their last five games. The Super Bowl hangover is real.
15 - New York Jets (LW: 20) - Todd Bowles belongs in the Coach of the Year conversation. He shouldn’t win (Doug Pederson should), but the Jets have certainly performed above expectation. They’re not the most talented bunch but they play hard.
16 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 8) - None of the teams the Bills beat this year have a winning record.
17 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 22) - Don’t look now but the Titans have managed to win three in a row. Thanks to a win over the Jags earlier this season, they’re actually first in the AFC South.
18 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 17) - Consistently inconsistent: W, W, L, L, W, L, L, W, L.
19 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 16) - Probably going to keep losing without Aaron Rodgers. Brett Hundley doesn’t look good.
20 - Houston Texans (LW: 13) - Losing Deshaun Watson for the season due to a torn ACL in practice is just brutal. That really sucks for this team. Now the Texans are doomed to fail with Tom Savage starting. It won’t happen, but they should really sign Colin Kaepernick.
21 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 21) - Bye week. Next up: a road game against the Jaguars.
22 - Oakland Raiders (LW: 24) - The Raiders are still alive in the AFC West. They’re only one game under .500 and they already beat the Chiefs once.
23 - Denver Broncos (LW: 19) - Denver’s defense was supposed to be their strength, but they allowed 51 points to the Eagles. That’s the most they’ve allowed since 2010. The Broncos’ quarterback situation is just awful. John Elway has not done a good job with drafting for that team.
24 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 27) - The Cardinals are bad but they’re not “in the conversation for the NFL’s worst team” bad.
26 - Chicago Bears (LW: 26) - Bye week. Next up: a home game against the reeling Packers.
30 - New York Giants (LW: 29) - The Giants looked incredibly unprepared coming off their bye week. I don’t see how Ben McAdoo returns after this season. The players have clearly quit on their head coach.
Ben McAdoo's halftime speeches sound epic pic.twitter.com/9HyJPPVOOh— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) November 5, 2017
31 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 31) - The 49ers are really bad and really injured. To their credit, effort doesn’t seem to be the issue.
Subject: Eagles News: One player compares Doug Pederson to a
Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/7/17.
Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
The day after: Doug Pederson ‘a mad scientist' in win vs. Broncos - The Athletic
No one can deny the importance of talent. But there is another element at work here: putting players in position to succeed. And through nine weeks, that might be Doug Pederson's greatest success. He knows how to keep defenses off-balance and play to his team's strengths. “When it comes to plays and knowing offense and scoring points, Doug’s almost a genius,” Brooks said. “Puts guys in great positions. Not just worrying about the guys — skill positions, catching the ball, touching the ball — but protections up front. He’s involved in them all. It’s been crazy just to watch him. It’s like a mad scientist out there going through this stuff.” Take the 32-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery in the first quarter. It was a zone read that gave Wentz the option to fire deep to Jeffery if Aqib Talib was paying attention to the run. It was a run-pass option play that the Eagles installed on the first day of OTAs, Pederson said. And on Sunday, the Eagles called on it at the perfect time.
Eagles-Broncos Final Score: 11 things we learned from Philadelphia destroying Denver - BGN
I mean, what’s left to say at this point? The Eagles are leaving no room for doubt. They are the best team in the NFL. We all knew this Broncos offense wasn’t very good. But what Philadelphia did to a Denver defense that ranked No. 2 in DVOA and No. 1 in terms of opponent yards per play is nothing short of remarkable. The Eagles dropped 51 friggin points on the best defense in the league.
Could Carson Wentz Be Philly's Tom Brady? - BGNRadio.com
John Barchard and James Seltzer break down a dominant 51-23 Eagles victory over the Broncos. The guys react to another stellar showing from Carson Wentz, leading them to wonder, could he be Philadelphia's Tom Brady? The fellas also discuss Alshon's big day, the Jay Ajayi train rolling through Philly, and much more.
The Eagles used Von Miller against himself, with gifs and stuff - PhillyVoice
On Sunday, the Eagles had a plan for Miller, and they executed it brilliantly. In the stat sheet, Miller appeared to have a great day. He had 8 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and a sack/fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Miller was indeed good against the run, however, those stats are wildly deceiving, as Miller was a complete non-factor as a pass rusher until the game was completely out of hand and the Eagles had already put in their third-string RT. Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, and the Eagles' offensive brain trust used a variety of ways to slow Miller down, which we'll show in gifs.
As the Wentz Turns - Iggles Blitz
Carson Wentz is having an amazing sophomore season. His team is winning (8-1). He leads the NFL in touchdown passes (23) and has a passer rating of 104.1. There are a lot of people who think he should be the league’s MVP. Not everyone loves Wentz. His two most infamous critics are Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders and Cian Fahey. They really didn’t like him a year ago, but have eased up a bit, begrudgingly giving Wentz some credit. Still, it feels like pulling teeth to get them to acknowledge anything positive.
Items On Table For Eagles At The Bye - PE.com
This is a great time for a bye week with the Eagles at 8-1, atop the NFC standings and a tough stretch run of seven games ahead. The players are long gone, with a full week off, and they are going to enjoy every minute of it ...
This is a good time for Eagles to catch their breath, and adjust to great expectations - Daily News
This is a good time for the Eagles to have a bye, not just so that injuries can heal, but so everyone can get ready for what’s coming. When the players return to NovaCare next week, in advance of their Nov. 19 visit to Dallas, the eyes of the NFL will be upon them. There was some of that Sunday, national media filtering in, but now, the league’s only 8-1 team has hung 51 points on a Denver defense that was ranked first in the league, metaphorically attaching a beacon to the top of the practice facility.
Eagles stocked with players who have something to prove - NBC Sports Philadelphia
They're playing like they're mad at the world. Like they're trying to shut people up. Like they have something to prove. And there's a pretty good reason for that. The Eagles' roster is largely made up of guys who were late-round draft picks. Guys who went undrafted, who were unwanted by their previous team, who were benched somewhere or toiled on the practice squad. Castoffs, misfits, journeymen. Put it all together and you have a roster stocked with guys who were told they'd never make it. Who have a chip on their shoulder. Who are driven by a team or coach or GM or even a fan base who doubted them and questioned them and gave up on them. That's who this team is.
Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl soaring up charts - ESPN
Long shots to start the season, the Philadelphia Eagles have emerged as the clear-cut favorites in the NFC and are closing in on the New England Patriots at the top of the Las Vegas sportsbooks' odds to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles, who had odds as high as 65-1 in the offseason to win the Super Bowl, are now 4-1 at the Westgate SuperBook, behind only the Patriots at 7-2. Philadelphia has won seven in a row and separated itself from other contenders in the NFC. The Eagles are 2-1 to win the conference and overwhelming -1,200 favorites in the NFC East.
Philadelphia Eagles' Chris Long: Birds' offense 'can go toe-to-toe' with Patriots' - PennLive
No team had scored 30 points on Denver this season entering Week 9. The Birds vaulted past that threshold before halftime. “It was awesome to watch," Long said. "I've never been around an offense like that." Wait, what? Let's backtrack one second and remember where Long played last season. He was on the Patriots. The Super Bowl championships, the team led by 12-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady. "I was with a pretty good offense last year, but I think this one can go toe-to-toe with that type of offense," Long said. "There is just so much talent and Carson has a veteran heir about him having been in the league for just 18 months. It's unbelievable."
Comparing Goff & Wentz' terrific starts to the 2017 NFL season - PFF
Wentz has also benefitted hugely from the scheme being tailored to suit his play. The Eagles run more run-pass option plays than anybody else in the league. They have run almost 100 RPOs (98) over the season, and no other side has more than 65. The Eagles have been able to simplify the offense and put defenders in a bind while playing to the athleticism of Wentz. Look no further than the first touchdown pass he threw this week against the Broncos. The Eagles packaged a zone run to the left (with Jay Ajayi as the running back), with an option run to the right optioning Von Miller, and then Alshon Jeffery’s little fake screen and ‘go’ route down the sideline, which caught out CB Aqib Talib for the score.
Philadelphia Eagles rout Broncos, make case for NFL's best team - NFL.com
In a week when Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson were lost for the season, when one team traded and one team failed to trade for a starting quarterback, the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles provided the perfect coda. This game was a reminder of why there is so much hand wringing and high anxiety around quarterbacks, why the particulars of Luck's labrum and Watson's knee ligament, of Jimmy Garoppolo's playing future for San Francisco and Cleveland's botched trade for AJ McCarron will keep coaches awake at nights, the fortunes of their franchises hanging in the balance. Here, then, was a snapshot of what happens to teams that have their quarterback situation settled and what happens to those that do not. The Eagles scored 51 points, with Carson Wentz tossing four touchdown passes against the NFL's top-ranked defense. At 8-1, they have the best record in the NFL heading into their bye and appear nearly certain to be going to the playoffs, with fans chanting "We Want Dallas" in the closing minutes.
Malcolm Jenkins: ‘This Ain’t Your Daddy’s Eagles’ - CBS Philly
“This ain’t your daddy’s Eagles, that’s what I would say to that,” Jenkins said. “I think it makes it easy because everyone is doing their role. It’s all of ours. People keep asking where the success comes from, is it Doug Pederson, is it Carson Wentz? It’s everybody really. When I first got here, I was coming from New Orleans, which that was a close-knit unit, not just the defensive backs, but everybody on that team. I attribute the success we had there winning the Super Bowl to that. When I first got here to Philadelphia, we had a lot of talent, and that talent got us wins and allowed us to perform. There were a lot of individual efforts that were great. I didn’t think that we were a tight team. Usually when those times of adversity came, or we got into one of those tough stretches, the season began to crumble.”
NFL Week 9 Recap: The New Class of the NFC Has Arrived - The Ringer
The Eagles, Rams, and Saints are more than just early-season surprises: They’ve evolved into legitimate conference contenders. Plus, the Chiefs put their stamp on the last-second desperation heave, and more.
Chris Harris Jr: ‘They knew everything we were going to do’ - Mile High Report
The Denver Broncos are two games under .500 and searching for answers after their worst defeat since Super Bowl 48. The Philadelphia Eagles had an answer for everything the Broncos threw at them on both offense and defense. Chris Harris Jr. felt like they knew what they were going to do before they were going to do it and the pressure of that never let up. “They knew everything we were going to do today,” Harris said “They had a good game plan. Carson Wentz is a great quarterback. They kind of stole the Chiefs offense. They just executed a lot better than us.”
The Jalen Ramsey vs. A.J. Green rivalry and 5 more things we loved about the NFL in Week 9 - SB Nation
Fights, bad speeches, and the “Hill Mary” dominated Sunday’s NFL action.
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Subject: Tuesday Morning Fly By: We
Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...
*Big news yesterday was no news, as the team released a statement stating that both Radko Gudas and Nolan Patrick are still day-to-day with their upper-body injuries. We’ll see how that changes ahead of Thursday’s game.
*There really are plenty of injuries to go around. Big ones, little ones. Seems like enough already. [NBC Sports Philly]
*So, there’s been a lot of talk so far this season about the Flyers less-than-dependable goaltending, but it turns out most of the troubles for the netminders are coming on the PK. [BSH]
*Speaking of goalies, Neuvirth will be auctioning off his new mask for charity, if you’re interested. [Sons of Penn]
*Have you been wondering what, exactly, it is that Dean Lombardi does here? If you’re like me and you subscribe to The Athletic, you can read this interview Pierre LeBrun did with Lombardi and continue to wonder wtf he actually does here. [The Athletic]
*And finally, since we have so much time until our next hockey game, let’s speculate about who might win some NHL awards this season! [ESPN]
Subject: Eagles injury updates on Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, and Tim Jernigan
The Philadelphia Eagles are 8-1 entering their Week 10 bye. It’s time for players to rest up and get ready for the final seven remaining regular season games.
The good news for the Eagles is that reinforcements appear to be on the way for the final stretch run. Here’s an update on the team’s injury situation.
Darby has been out since suffering a dislocated ankle injury in Week 1. He returned to practice leading up to the Eagles’ Week 7 game but he’s been limited in practice ever since. Now it seems like Darby will be able to return after the bye and play against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. He essentially indicated as much on Twitter.
Great team win . Excited to officially be back with my brothers . Been a wild year, but it’s blessings around every corner. pic.twitter.com/hQRxnZpb9y— Ronald Darby (@realronalddarby) November 5, 2017
Les Bowen of the Daily News confirmed the good news.
I'm told that unless there's a setback, Ron Darby will practice fully after the bye and play vs. Dallas. https://t.co/XMAurnKXpm— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 6, 2017
Here’s what Doug Pederson had to say about Darby on Monday.
Q. What is the plan for CB Ronald Darby when you guys get back? Do you anticipate him going full for that week or is it still a wait and see?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, he's really -- last week, he really got more reps in practice, and even though it was limited, it was almost full last week too. He's another one that will be around, working on his treatment and his rehab, and we'll see where we're at next week when they get back. We'll evaluate it some more. But he's in a really good spot to possibly come back and help us here in the next week or so.
With Darby out, the Eagles have relied upon the trio of Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, and rookie Rasul Douglas at cornerback. Robinson has been having a strong season playing both the slot and the outside. Mills has his flaws but he’s battled all year and was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his outing against the 49ers. After being a healthy scratch in Week 1, Douglas has shown some nice flashes while playing in a rotational role.
It remains to be seen, then, how the Eagles will split playing time at corner with Darby set to return. I’d think we’ll see more of Robinson in the slot and less on the outside. I’d also think Douglas will get less playing time since the Eagles really like Mills.
In any case, having too much talent at corner is a great “problem” to have.
Darby looked pretty good in training camp and the preseason so his return could make the Eagles’ defense even better.
The Eagles haven’t released an official update on Jones, but here’s an interesting note from Zach Berman.
After Week 6, Eagles can return him to practice at any point. Once he practices, he has 21 days to be activated.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 6, 2017
It was previously reported that the Eagles had six weeks from Week 7 to have Jones either return to practice or be shut down for the year. Now it appears the Eagles have all season to make a decision on Jones.
As Berman points out, the Eagles will still have 21 days from the time Jones first practices to either activate Jones to the roster or keep him on the non-football injury list.
Based on the latest Jones update, it sounds like he might be ready to return to the practice until December. The Eagles (surprisingly) already have some good options at corner, so it’s not like Philly needs to rush him back.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles handle the Jones situation.
Jernigan got banged up late in the Eagles-Broncos game and had to leave early. Pederson said the team’s starting defensive tackle be fine for the Dallas game.
Tim's fine. He's just got an ankle. He could have come back and played in that game yesterday, and he'll be fine. We've got this time off now, so he'll be fine next week.
Tim Jernigan only got 20 snaps vs. Denver after rolling his ankle. Should be OK for Dallas, I'm told.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 6, 2017
Pederson originally said he expected Ertz to play against the Broncos on Sunday but the team shut him down after the starting tight end struggled with a hamstring injury in warmups.
Yeah, he tried to go on his leg there, and just didn't feel right. So, made the decision with seven games remaining, having a bye, and really a couple weeks here to rest; just made the decision that we need him more for the long term than this game and just decided to keep him out.
If Ertz was close to playing on Sunday, I’d have to think he’ll be ready to play against the Cowboys after having a week to rest his hamstring. Good news for an Eagles offense that still played great without him.
Subject: Your Tuesday Morning Roundup
Subject: Eagles-Broncos PFF Grades: Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham among Philly
Best and worst from the Eagles’ Week 9 game.
Pro Football Focus releases the top five graded players from each team after every single NFL game. Here’s what PFF had to say about the Philadelphia Eagles following their Week 9 win over the Denver Broncos.
C Jason Kelce, 90.5 overall grade
DI Fletcher Cox, 88.8 overall grade
Edge Brandon Graham, 87.8 overall grade
S Malcolm Jenkins, 86.5 overall grade
LB Mychal Kendricks, 83.6 overall grade
This isn’t the first time this season Carson Wentz has been oddly absent from the top five. Wentz went 15/27 for 199 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 118.7 passer rating against the league’s best defense. He essentially did all of this in just three quarters played.
Shot 8 - A couple of dimes from Wentz. First one came in 2-minute drill. Makes throws like this on a weekly basis, believe it or not! pic.twitter.com/nmM13Kum84— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) November 6, 2017
I don’t know how that’s not top five worthy, but let’s get to the top performers listed here.
PFF has been very high on Kelce this year. He’s their No. 1 overall center. Kelce’s had some issues in pass protection, according to them, but he’s been a strong run blocker. Kelce helped pave the way for the 197 rushing yards the Eagles put up on a Denver defense that was only allowing 72.9 per game heading into Sunday. Kelce could be headed to the Pro Bowl again this season.
The Man Dog was a beast on Sunday. And it’s not like he just dominated some scrub.
Fletcher Cox had the exact opposite game of Brandon Graham, while he was good in the run game, he absolutely tore into the interior of the Broncos offensive line to record 1 hit and 7 hurries on just 25 pass-rush plays for an insane 24.0 pass-rushing productivity score. What more, he did this against Ronald Leary, who had not given up more than one pressure in a game this season. Leary gave up 6 pressures against Cox.
The frustrating part is that Cox would’ve had even more pressures if he didn’t miss three days of voluntary OTA practices in the spring. (Just joking.)
For real, though, Cox has been great. He has 32 total pressures (five sacks, seven hits, 20 hurries) in 215 pass rush snaps played. That ranks as the second best pressure rate among interior defenders in the NFL.
The Eagles’ defense has been successful when it comes to stopping the run and rushing the passer. Cox is a big part of that.
Here’s what PFF had to say about one of their most favorite players.
In a game which was dominated by the defensive line of the Eagles, Brandon Graham actually had his fewest pressures since Week 3 with just 2 hurries, however, he still was able to be dominant in the run game, recording 5 tackles, all 5 being for stops in the run game. He was a menace, especially when the Broncos tried to use a tight end to block him.
Yeah, I’d say using a tight end to block Graham is a huge mistake.
This is one of my favorite plays by Graham in this game. He totally knew what was coming and started moving to make the tackle before the ball was even snapped.
Usually BG makes the chase downs unblocked. The broncos try him with a tight end and it goes about how you'd expect. pic.twitter.com/VO1RjFgwPV— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) November 6, 2017
Graham is a very big part of why the Eagles have the best run defense in the NFL. He ranks as PFF’s second overall edge rusher this season. He’s 10th in pressure rate and second overall in run stop percentage (stops constitute a "loss" for the offense.)
Jenkins finished the game with three tackles (two solo), two passes defensed, and one quarterback hit. The veteran safety is such a key player in the Eagles’ defense. Philadelphia has been using him in a linebacker role in some looks since Jordan Hicks has gone down.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has a lot of praise for Jenkins last week.
Q. S Malcolm Jenkins has played so many roles for you guys. Just what he does in that dime look where you go with three safeties, how are his responsibilities different than what he normally does?
JIM SCHWARTZ: He’s played that spot in all our coverages anyway. It’s just a different personnel group. He’s played safety for us, well-documented; he’s played nickel for us, well-documented; and he’s played the dime and he’s played sort of a linebacker-type role, so he’s a do-it-all player. He’s good in the box. He’s good in the deep part of the field. He’s a very valuable guy to have and he gives you a lot of flexibility to be able to handle things that come up within a season, within a game plan and in the course of a game.
Q. How rare is that versatility?
JIM SCHWARTZ: Well, it’s something that we value. That corner-safety flexibility, No. 1, but one thing we don’t talk a lot about is that safety-linebacker flexibility, sort of an old-school NFL. It’s pretty rare to find guys that can do all three. Malcolm is one of them.
Kendricks had four tackles (two solo), two passes defensed, and one quarterback hit in this game. Would you believe that he ranks 13th out of 108 linebackers this season? Because he does. Kendricks ranks second among 4-3 outside linebackers in pressure rate (7 pressures in 30 pass rush snaps), seventh in run stop percentage, and 14th in coverage. Really strong year for him.
First up, the Jay Train, who rushed for 77 yards and one touchdown on just eight carries.
Ajayi was handed the ball eight times in his Eagles debut, but the small workload didn’t prevent him from making an impact. He had a 46 yard touchdown run, and averaged 3.4 yards after contact on his seven other runs. It’s early, but it looks like he’s going to make the most out of running behind a better offensive line in Philadelphia.
Ajayi ranks eighth in “Elusive Rating” this year (LeGarrette Blount ranks first), which boils down a runner's success beyond the point of being helped by his blockers. Ajayi has forced 24 missed/broken tackles on 152 total touches. Here’s just one example. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall (No. 54) doesn’t stand a chance.
Ajayi gives an already explosive offense ANOTHER weapon to work with. Crazy.
Switching gears, here’s what PFF had to say about Alshon.
Jeffery had maybe his best game of the season, picking up 84 yards on six catches, including two touchdowns against Aqib Talib. He did drop one pass though, and was called for holding downfield on a long run by Corey Clement.
There are definitely some miscues that Jeffery needs to clean up, but it’s encouraging how Wentz and him seem to be getting on same page. Jeffery did a great job of selling the fake on his first touchdown.
No Eagles on this list. Just wanted to include this write-up on Brock Osweiler.
Brock Osweiler had a chance to revive his career after his struggles in the past 18 months. However against the fierce pass-rush of the Eagles, Osweiler failed to get the Broncos offense going. He only threw two interceptions but had many more turnover worthy plays and when he was pressured (22 of 41 dropbacks) he completed just 42.1 percent of his passes.
I’m also including Pro Football Focus in the dishonorable section on this list. I already touched on the Wentz thing, but their grade for Von Miller makes no sense.
Edge Von Miller, 92.3 overall grade
Miller had five total pressures, including a forced fumble on a sack on 27 pass-rushes, and was one of two Broncos defenders with multiple pressures. He was even better against the run, where he had six run-defense stops, tied for the most in a single game this season among edge defenders.
PFF had Miller as the top overall graded player from this game. That’s silly.
First of all, his strip-sack came on a play where he was probably offside.
And then there’s the fact that Doug Pederson essentially schemed him out of the game. Really good film breakdown from BGN alumnus Jimmy Kempski here.
On Sunday, the Eagles had a plan for Miller, and they executed it brilliantly.
In the stat sheet, Miller appeared to have a great day. He had 8 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and a sack/fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Miller was indeed good against the run, however, those stats are wildly deceiving, as Miller was a complete non-factor as a pass rusher until the game was completely out of hand and the Eagles had already put in their third-string RT.
Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, and the Eagles' offensive brain trust used a variety of ways to slow Miller down.
This a good example of why PFF is far from perfect. I think they do some interesting stuff, but this is a situation where important context went missing.
Subject: Meek Mill Is Going to Jail
Subject: How great is Ivan Provorov?
The gang uses this downtime in the schedule to gush, a lot, about our very own Russian Machine
With four days between games, Steph, Charlie and Bill discuss the current plague of injuries hitting the Flyers locker room, and gush over Ivan Provorov's superhuman effort for a short-handed squad over the last several games. Bill asks if the Broad Street Bullies are tough enough, Charlie predicts Sean Couturier's production for the rest of the season and Steph will stand for no slander of her Swedish Muffin, even if only by omission.
Subject: Doug Pederson Used Kansas City Game Film to Shred the Broncos
Subject: Two Dipshits Dig In on The Eagles
Subject: Sean Couturier
It’s all coming together for the sixth-year pro offensively.
Just 24-years-old, the former QMJHL star with the Drummondville Voltigeurs is now in his sixth NHL season and enjoying a breakout performance on the ice—offensively that is.
Since breaking the Flyers’ opening night roster way back in 2011 as a 19-year-old, Couturier has been a rock defensively for the club as evidence by his career 40.9% offensive zone start percentage. He’s finished in the top 10 in Selke Trophy voting—given annually to the forward who demonstrates the most still in the defensive component of the game—twice since entering the league (2013-14, 2015-16).
But though he spent the better part of his first five seasons as a shutdown center for the Flyers, it wasn’t just because Couturier excelled in his own end instinctively, it was also because the Flyers had a glut of centers in the organization that clouded things.
In his rookie year of 2011-12, there was Claude Giroux, Daniel Briere, Maxime Talbot, Brayden Schenn and Couturier all vying for center ice time. Though everyone save for Giroux could split some action on the wing, it wasn’t like the rookie from the QMJHL was going to get top-six minutes and ample offensive opportunities. He finished the year with 27 points (13G, 14A) while starting 60% of his shifts in the defensive zone.
After two years and middling success with young guys like Schenn and Couturier spending time at center, the Flyers went out and signed Vincent Lecavalier to a large deal in free agency to be their No. 2 center behind Giroux, or so they hoped. Instead, the former Tampa Bay star flamed out, scoring just 58 points in 133 games in a Flyers uniform in parts of two seasons.
Perhaps the bigger issue with the failed Lecavalier era was that the veteran stole potentially valuable ice time away from guys like Schenn, Couturier and then Scott Laughton in all situations. The experiment failed and could have delayed the development of those young centers as offensive opportunity went to the veteran over the youngsters.
It’s no surprise that the following year sans Lecavalier showed the beginning of the rise of Couturier.
In 2015-16, Couturier saw his offensive zone starts climb from to 43.4% from 40.1% and post a career-high with a 52.4% Corsi For (about 4% better than his career rate to that point). His possession numbers weren’t a fluke, either, as evidence by his 2.1% Corsi For relative to his teammates. He tied his career-high with 39 points (11G, 28A) and was a plus player for the fourth time in five years.
But with 34 points (14G, 20A) it didn’t turn out that way, not at least in terms of putting up the production of the legitimate #2 center that the Flyers desperately needed.
While he didn’t break the 40-point barrier and venture into that top-six caliber center stage in terms of points last season, Couturier posted a career-high 54.5% Corsi For and nearly doubled his Corsi For% relative. Though the goals and assists weren’t there, the corner was already turned. He just needed more opportunity.
With depth down the middle thanks to No. 2 overall pick Nolan Patrick, Scott Laughton’s strong AHL play a year ago, and the acquisition of veteran Valtteri Filppula, the Flyers suddenly had another glut of centers heading into this season.
That’s when an experiment in camp saw Claude Giroux moved to the wing of…you guessed it: Sean Couturier. Jake Voracek would occupy the other wing to form the Flyers’ new-look top line. Though there were some growing pains in the preseason (Looking at you, G) the trio was dangerous offensively from the get-go and the experiment moved from infancy stages to full-blown reality.
Though 15 games the line has amassed 53 points (20G, 33A) to form one of the NHL’s top scoring lines. Couturier has been the beneficiary of playing with top skilled passers, notching nine goals already, just six away from his career-high of 15. That’s a cool 49-goal pace if you’re scoring at home. He’s also up to a career-best 45.7% offensive zone start percentage and a 53% Corsi For percentage.
Sure his shooting percentage (19.6%) will likely come down, but he’s getting the best chances he’s ever had in his young career playing with a pair of all-stars, and at the end of the day one of them has to shoot the puck right?
Sean Couturier is having a career-year offensively for the Flyers—and while its taken six years—the potential was always there and it’s all happening now right in front of our eyes.
Subject: Taking Down PFF
Subject: Two Eagles players nominated for weekly awards you can vote on
A pair of Philadelphia Eagles players have been nominated for two of the NFL’s weekly awards that you can vote on thanks to their performances against the Denver Broncos in Week 9. The players: Corey Clement and Carson Wentz.
Clement has been nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. The undrafted rookie running back ran for 51 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos’ second-ranked run defense. Clement also caught a screen pass for a 15-yard receiving touchdown.
You can [click here] to vote for Clement. He’s probably not going to win since Alvin Kamara is also on the ballot. The Saints running back had 152 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on Sunday.
Still, it’s pretty cool to see Clement getting some recognition for his performance. He’s been a nice undrafted rookie free agent pickup by the Eagles’ personnel department.
Wentz is one five players nominated for the Castrol EDGE Clutch Performers of the Week award.
Wentz had a strong outing against the Broncos with 199 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 118.7 passer rating.
With that said, I’m not really sure why Wentz’s performance is in this category. There wasn’t anything “clutch” about it. He barely even played in the fourth quarter in a game the Eagles won 51-23.
Subject: Philadelphia Eagles bring back hard-hitting safety to practice squad
In case you don’t remember who that is, allow me to remind you.
The Eagles originally signed Sullivan, who attended Division II Shepherd University, following the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent the entire summer with Philadelphia before getting injured in the Eagles’ final preseason game. Sullivan was placed on injured reserve being before waived with an injury settlement.
It’s cool to see Sullivan is back with the Eagles. I thought he showed some promise in training camp. Everyone will obviously remember him for the big hits, but I thought he showed some nice coverage skills in practice as well.
The Eagles aren’t lacking immediate depth at the safety position. It could be a long-term need, though. Corey Graham, who turns 33 this summer, is currently signed to a one-year deal. Jaylen Watkins will be a free agent after this season. Special teams captain Chris Maragos is currently injured and turns 31 in January.
In order to make room for Sullivan on the practice squad, the Eagles released linebacker Don Cherry. The Villanova alumnus re-signed with Philly two weeks ago but he’s gone again.
UPDATED LOOK AT THE 2017 EAGLES PRACTICE SQUAD
S Tre Sullivan
CB DeVante Bausby
C/G Josh Andrews
TE Billy Brown
Subject: Eagles are now favored to win the Super Bowl and Carson Wentz has the best NFL MVP odds
You’re not dreaming.
The Philadelphia Eagles now have the best odds of winning the 2018 Super Bowl.
Carson Wentz is now the favorite to win NFL MVP.
Is this real life?
Yes. Yes, it is.
Check out the latest Super Bowl odds from Bovada.
Philadelphia Eagles: 4/1
New England Patriots: 9/2
Pittsburgh Steelers: 15/2
Kansas City Chiefs: 11/1
Seattle Seahawks: 12/1
Los Angeles Rams: 14/1
New Orleans Saints: 14/1
Dallas Cowboys: 16/1
Minnesota Vikings: 16/1
Carolina Panthers: 22/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 25/1
Atlanta Falcons: 28/1
Detroit Lions: 28/1
Tennessee Titans: 28/1
Oakland Raiders: 33/1
Washington Redskins: 50/1
Buffalo Bills: 66/1
Green Bay Packers: 66/1
Arizona Cardinals: 100/1
Baltimore Ravens: 100/1
Cincinnati Bengals: 100/1
Denver Broncos: 100/1
Houston Texans: 100/1
Los Angeles Chargers: 100/1
Chicago Bears: 150/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 200/1
Miami Dolphins: 250/1
Indianapolis Colts: 300/1
New York Jets: 300/1
New York Giants: 1000/1
Cleveland Browns: Off the Board
San Francisco 49ers: Off the Board
Also check out the latest NFL MVP odds below.
Carson Wentz: 1/1
Tom Brady: 21/10
Alex Smith: 8/1
Drew Brees: 14/1
Russell Wilson: 14/1
Le’Veon Bell: 28/1
Dak Prescott: 28/1
Jared Goff: 33/1
Matthew Stafford: 33/1
Kareem Hunt: 100/1
Deshaun Watson: Off the Board
It’s just so crazy to think all of this is real. No one expected the Eagles to be this good this fast.
I know some people get turned off by the hype machine. But I don’t know what you expect at this point. The Eagles legitimately look like the best team in the NFL. They’re pulverizing their opponents. Wentz isn’t doing anything fluky; he’s the legitimately awesome prospect the Eagles made a big effort to acquire.
With seven games remaining in the Eagles’ season, there’s obviously still a lot that change. But you have to feel good about this team’s chances. The Eagles are on the path to a No. 1 seed. If they can lock up home field advantage, they would only need two home wins to make it to the big game.
What a time to be alive.
Subject: Reports: A Plane Belonging To Roy Halladay Has Crashed in The Gulf of Mexico